S (Scripture): Isaiah 63:15 Look down from heaven and see, from your holy and glorious perch. Where are your energy and your might,
your concern and your pity? Don’t hold back!
16 You are surely our father, even though Abraham doesn’t know us, and Israel doesn’t recognize us. You, Lord, are our father;
your reputation since long ago is that of our redeemer.
17 Why do you lead us astray, Lord, from your ways? Why do you harden our heart so we don’t fear you? Return for the sake of your servants
the tribes that are your heritage!
18 Why did the wicked bring down your holy place? Why did our enemies trample your sanctuary?
19 For too long we have been like those you don’t rule, like those not known by your name.
O (Observation): God’s people, in a time of great desperation and feeling abandoned by God, call out to God. They have never known Abraham or Israel (Jacob) directly, yet they feel a great kinship to these legendary people of faith…like the Lord is still their mutual Father.
Isaiah calls on God to uphold the reputation as their redeemer. God’s people feel as if God has abandoned them. What if perhaps God has let them rule themselves for a while…not abandoning them…simply letting them rule themselves for a bit. Perhaps it would seem as if God abandoned them…but really God may have just been waiting for the invitation to rule this stubborn people again, once they’ve seen they cannot rule themselves.
A (Application): What does it take to tell your parents: “You were right”? How much pride does one have to swallow before allowing the parents’ wisdom to sink in?
About 19 years, in my case : ) Now, don’t get me wrong…I obeyed my parents and I’m the goody-goody…but I also resisted much of the advice of my parents, until I was about 19…and a junior at Georgia Tech.
My parents love me and raised me right. They brought me to a faith community in the two main places I grew up: Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, and All Saints Lutheran Church, Lilburn, GA. In those places, my faith was shaped and developed. I entered many sacred spaces via these faith communities, and I learned a lot about how good and how destructive faith communities might be.
In all, I learned of God’s favor, and I learned how to listen to God’s callings in my life.
But until I was 19, I didn’t really, truly appreciate what my parents had to teach me about money and independent living. I racked up lots of debt and I’m sure it tortured my parents to watch that. But they knew I had to go and venture out. Their wisdom was that I would need to venture out and explore how to apply my upbringing into my own independent living.
I finally accepted and appreciated more and more of their advice. They never abandoned me…they simply let me embrace my independence. I realized, though, that I would never be truly independent from them, since I carry my upbringing with me and their wisdom, wherever I go. Our memories we have made, and the memories we have still yet to make, will be treasured in my heart.
And now, my wife and I hope to pass on our faith and wisdom to our children. Let’s see how long it takes them to appreciate whatever wisdom we have collected and now are blessed to pass on : )
P (Prayer): Lord, you never abandon us…help us to see your presence all around us. Amen.